User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 163 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 7 out of 163

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  1. Aug 23, 2010
    Easily my favourite DS game, Dragon Quest IX is top RPG goodness, with some of the best graphics on DS. While the battle system is old hat, the levels of customisation and excellent storyline make fr a life consuming RPG, and probably the best game on DS. If you get one DS game, make it this one.
  2. Sep 9, 2010
    Super addictive game that doesn't get weighed down by inane characters or story. Bright, fun graphics and the ability to personalize your characters appearance and skills = instant win. Best game I have played this year!
  3. Oct 7, 2010
    I loved this game, probably my favorite DS game I've played so far. I found the story line to be impressive and creative. The adventure in this game was awesome. I can tell they really put the effort and time into making this game. I loved all the different kinds of monsters and bosses, the creativity was wild. Even when the storyline is finished there is still lots you can do like favours for people in the different towns you've discovered. Not to mention finding little islands with treasure on your boat. One of my favorite adventure games. Expand
  4. Oct 8, 2010
    Although the 87 Metascore may not seem overly impressive, the fact that out SIXTY-TWO critics, there were no negative scores really speaks volumes. Not even any Mixed scores. This game is simply put, beautiful. The music is catchy, but not annoying, the characters are very colorful, the plot is simple yet deep, the combat simply works well, and the game is just plain fun. Especially in multiplayer. Expand
  5. Oct 12, 2010
    I, and apparently the whole of the Internet, cannot give enough praise for this game. It's a classic old-school RPG with a pretty 3D candy shell, and it couldn't look or play much better. The main game is long and will keep you addicted, and with extra quests, dungeons, and even weekly download-able content, you'll still be playing long after the main quest is over. I clocked a good 130 hours before finally setting the game down... for a $40 DS game, you'll be getting your money's worth and then some. Unless you absolutely hate RPGS, or don't own a DS, there's no way I CAN'T recommend this game. Expand
  6. Dec 2, 2010
    While Dragon Quest 9 is slightly old school, the acctual game is brilliant! The visuals are wonderful for a DS and you can explore a WHOLE world! I was stunned when I played this! This is my favourite DS game of all time! The ending of the story is a shame, but it just adds to the whole experience of Sentinals of the Skies! BY THIS GAME!!!
  7. May 6, 2012
    I find this game a fun game from out of the other dragon quest so i recommend this game because it hard and the most hardest is the metal king slime he gives a lot of eperance points
  8. Mar 14, 2013
    This is an RPG in the classic sense, and features pretty much everything a fan of the genre could ask for. There are endearing characters, perfect gameplay, interesting dungeons. The storyline is incredibly well-crafted; a tale of redemption that keeps you guessing all the way to its pungent, apotheotic conclusion. The expansive world is expertly constructed, with secrets lurking in every unrevealed area and even in the revealed ones.

    As if all of that weren't enough, the game offers TONS of reason to keep playing even after finishing the main quest. There is a practically infinite amount of extra dungeons, where you can get weapons, ingredients (important for the immersive weapon-crafting mini-game), and face loads of new bosses. There are special battles with bad guys from older DQ games. There are even some extra quests that actually pull the story forward, further developing the characters.

    Sentinels of Starry Skies is not only the best original RPG for the DS, it's a strong contender for the best game in the platform.
  9. Jul 25, 2013
    If you love old-fashioned JRPG's and traditional turn-based combat, this is the perfect game that you simply can't pass up. Dragon Quest IX is a very traditional JRPG that apologetically uses game mechanics identical to old RPG's on the NES the series first started on, but this is by no means a bad thing. Your character and your allies are all made from scratch, giving you free reign to come up with personalities and backstories for each of them, but some might not like the fact that the entire party is a voiceless cast. I do like the freedom to determine your party size. Go solo, and you'll have more challenges while getting more EXP. have one, two, or even three companions with you and you can make battles easier while at the same time making it longer to grind with each party member and upping the cost of equipment for each character.

    The menu based system for buying and selling is really one of the only flaws I can point out. It makes buying and selling items very long and drawn out and you spend a lot of unnecessary time just trying to scrape up some money for your next set of armor. Another thing I didn't like was the fact that I spent more time grinding money than I was experience trying to keep my party updated with equipment. I only had a party of 3, but it was still very hard to get the armor and weapons everyone needs. If this game got rid of the menu based shop system and gave you discounts for large party sizes on equipment, this game would be perfect. Definitely a game that you cannot miss.
  10. Oct 17, 2014
    One of my favorite games! This game is so epic! The Story, the soundtrack... i love it so much!! The charakter designe is like in every Dragon Quest Game nice.
  11. Sep 7, 2010
    Easily one of the best DS games ever made. It combines so well the old-school elements with new elements which results in a rich amount of gameplay. Maybe the plot is not an epic one, but is not pretensions and in the end it delivered a good story with many touching moments. I have to admit that this my first DQIX and in the perspective from someone new to the series I have to say that this game is a must-have. of that everyone should have. Expand
  12. Nov 13, 2010
    This game is quite possibly the perfect mix between retro and modern RPG elements I have ever seen.
    Although most of the elements such as battles are pretty nostalgic and retro in design, the beautiful 3D character models and maps, amazing music and large amount of customization gives a deep modern and unique twist on what is a heart a very old and classic core system. Downloadable content
    such as rare equipment shop which changes each day, new quests and dungeons, and much more there is lots to do even after the main storyline is complete, especially with wireless multiplayer. Its a shame that Wifi multiplayer was not possible but the amount of effort put forward to make this game the best it can be more than forgives that. Expand
  13. Nov 20, 2010
    A brilliant RPG. I, admittedly, hadn't played a DQ game (although loads of other RPG) before IX, this has got me wanting to play the rest of the series. This will have you hooked for hours, even after the main plot is complete, collecting all items and the alchemy gives the games tons of replay value. It also managed to mix old and modern RPGs elements really well. The only major flaw is that it's storyline wasn't the best, but, making/customising the characters made up for it. Expand
  14. Nov 28, 2010
    Easily my favourite DS game, Dragon Quest IX is top RPG goodness, with some of the best graphics on DS. While the battle system is old hat, the levels of customisation and excellent storyline make fr a life consuming RPG, and probably the best game on DS. If you get one DS game, make it this one.
  15. Sep 11, 2011
    This is one of my favorite games on the DS, even though there's a TONNE of rubbish things about it: graphics, slowdown, old battle system, but those are the most minor things in the whole of gaming compared to the majestic might of Dragon Quest 9. Next time you se it and haven't got it, i don't care if you have to fork out 100 quid to get it. Just get it. If you do already have it, BUY IT AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN. and again.
    This is so good that, as you can see, has no average or bad rating on metacritic... AT ALL.
    Buy it NOW!!!!
  16. Sep 14, 2011
    I usually don't play JRPG's. I don't hate them, but they're just not my thing. However, on a whim, I bought Dragon Quest IX and I can't stop playing it. The combat system is the usual JRPG fare, but it's tried and tested and works very well. I'm only 15 hours in but the story is the perfect amount of complex: there's a lot to keep interest yet there's never too much for you to lose track or get confused. The graphics are pretty great for a DS game and full of charm, just like other DQ games seem to do.

    My main issue would be vocations. The problem being that you can only switch them after you've played a significant chunk of the game, and then you start at Lv. 1 again. Some skills carry over but it's still annoying to train up a character again.

    However, DQIX is an excellent game and definitely a recommended buy. And take that from a rookie JRPG player.
  17. Nov 10, 2011
    One of the best RPGs of the generation and its for the Nintendo DS! The story is very simple compared to past DQs but is still a pleasure to play. Lots to do during and after the story is completed.
  18. Nov 21, 2011
    Gameplay: 10 - Perfect. This is a JRPG at its best. Turn-based combat is perfected; random encounters are absent; there's even co-op!
    Story: 8 - Great. The story is hindered by the silent protagonists, but the ability to customize your party allows for greater immersion.
    Graphics: 9 - Amazing. The style fits the game perfectly, and looks good, too!
    Sound: 9 - Amazing. Catchy music
    during battles, emotional music during cutscenes. DQIX has some good music.
    Overall: 9 - Amazing.
  19. Mar 25, 2012
    I have to say that this is the best game I have played on a handheld device so far. Pretty visuals (given the limitations of DS), good controls, cute story... and it is pretty addicting too! I am just hoping for a 3DS Dragon Quest now!
  20. Feb 9, 2013
    The game itself is very well made,the classes are good,the combat is good,and the storyline is pretty good.Lots of post game content.Free DLC.The only fault in the game is that your companions don't talk.Ever.Also the multiplayer is pretty good.
  21. Apr 27, 2013
    A great entry to an equally great RPG series with a lot of charm, story and post-game content. Also, it's fitting that I would see a Dragon Quest title released exclusively on a handheld gaming device since I was first introduced to the series with Dragon Warrior I & II for the Game Boy Color.
  22. Sep 28, 2013
    I have spent an unhealthy 300+ hours on this game, but it was worth every second. This game is very addictive, but that's because there's so many things to do. While I wasn't a big fan of Akira Toriyama's art at first, it did grow on me because of this game. The story isn't blockbuster worthy, but it still pulls you further in, and the localization quirks and touches are absolutely hilarious. And as a last word, I'm always a sucker for character customization and diverse class options. There's just so many ways to really make you, you.
    Art: 8
    Music: 8
    Writing: 9
    Gameplay: 10
  23. Oct 8, 2010
    It's a solid game, no doubt about it. The enhanced graphics from previous installments is really nice, got the same excellent playability. Interesting storyline...there's just something askew with this latest installment. Still think Dragon Quest 5 is the emblem of excellent DS RPG's, and is superior to this installment , in terms of storyline and pure fun.

    Still, it's a nice game and
    worth the price. A little more difficult than previous entries, so that's a plus. Still , it felt like something was amiss. (Just cant put my finger on it.) Expand
  24. Apr 27, 2012
    Best Ds game I have ever played so far. An amazing game witch was fantastic start to finish. The only problom is that multiplayer with friends [witch is fun] is just more helping your friend but not level up your own charatcer just to help but still a fantastic game. Dragon Quest 9 8.8/10
  25. Mar 17, 2011
    "Old School" definitely describes this game. Mostly, that's a good thing. The mechanics work. The dungeons are interesting. The storyline is servicable. Honestly the only thing I didn't like about this game is that item drop rates are low and the Thief's steal skill is so outrageously ineffective that you can spend 15 minutes doing nothing but repeating the steal command trying to get one common item. When you need seven more to make something with alchemy, the grindy nature of it starts to wear you down. Expand
  26. Aug 5, 2013
    A modest adventure is bogged with over-complication of items, spiky difficulty and anti-strategic mechanics. For the premium experience you may have been expecting, consider Dragon Quest IV DS instead.
  27. Jul 13, 2014
    I find this game highly overrated. It has a mediocre story, no character progression which is compounded by your party is nobodies so they are robots following you, and the camera is awful.

    Monsters spawn on map can be seen as both a novel idea because battles can be avoided or a huge annoyance because some of the spawn right in front of you or spawn/wander around when you have the menu
    open which will allow them to enter battle when the menu closes.

    Which brings me to the camera. The world is 3d but doesn't rotate 360 because to save on detail some characters are 2d sprites (think Ragnarok online) this becomes a huge pain in certain dungeons with high walls so you can actually see where you are going well (Prime example Quarantomb) and also compounded by the fact that monsters spawn right in front of you. Since the camera is also zoomed close to the ground it is difficult to avoid certain mobs.

    Which brings me to map design, the maps are actually pretty nice but they seemed to be designed for monsters not being spawned on map. Some monsters take up a whole walkway and can't be avoided and can be quite annoying to deal with.

    Few other points
    -The characters classes are alright and it is nice that there are so many different ones
    -Being able to change classes is great but it comes a bit too late in my opinion
    -The world is well crafted and nice to have alchemy pickups
    -Alchemy is a bit annoying but is fixed a bit better with a lot of recipes being available more readily. The alchemy pot should be at EVERY inn though or with you.

    All in all I think this is just a cry for the old times instead of a push to improve. I love old RPGs like this, DQ8 is one of my top fav RPGs but I feel that DQ9 was a small misstep.
  28. Jun 21, 2014
    Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies just doesn't live up to its predecessor. This is mediocrity at its best.

    The story and most of the characters are dull for the most part.
    The big draw to this game was supposed to be the four player co-op but I doubt a lot of people actually got to play it that way and as a result you end up with a group of silent protagonists which
    obviously doesn't help the plot.
    This game really seems to be aimed at a younger audience, nothing wrong with that of course, but it offers close to zero value for a more mature gamer.
    This was one of the few games that might've convinced me to buy a DS but instead it ended up making me take a pass.

    The art style is great but nothing new here since it's just like previous games.
    The only real positive thing about this game is the wide variety of customization options.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 65 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 65 out of 65
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 65
  3. Negative: 0 out of 65
  1. Jan 3, 2011
    With Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, Square Enix and Level-5 have delivered what is without doubt one of the most stunning RPG experiences not only on the Nintendo DS, but in existence, full stop.
  2. Jan 1, 2011
    This is a really big game for something found on a handheld, an epic yarn that offers up hundreds of hours of gameplay for those willing to invest the time.
  3. Oct 21, 2010
    Coupled with its simple story and addicting post-game play, one of the greatest triumphs of Dragon Quest IX is that it manages to be a serious role-playing game without taking itself too seriously.